'Lectronic Index

Previous 'Lectronic Edition

Domestic Clearing Is Over in Mexico! Reports Tere Grossman

April 19 - Mexico City, Mexico


"Incredible but true," writes Tere Grossman, "but today the Mexican government published a notice in the official newspaper that says, as of today, mariners will only be required to check in with a port captain when they are coming from or going to an international port. This means that 'domestic clearance' - clearing in and out every time you enter a new port captain district inside Mexico - is history! They [boatowners] will now only have to let a marina know when they arrive, and the marina only has to have a record of who comes and goes."

"I have been working on this for almost 30 years, and am very excited!" says Grossman, who once told President Vicente Fox that the clearing process was like having to go through the 'stations of the cross'. Tere Grossman is the President of the Mexican Marina Owners Association, and her family owns Marina San Carlos and other marine interests.

We're breaking out the champagne here at the Latitude 38 office, for this is something we've worked on for decades with Tere and others, bending the ear of every Mexican official and journalist we could find. When a Mexico City newspaper recently interviewed us about how to make boat tourism in Mexico more attractive, we told them: 1. Get rid of domestic clearance, 2. Get rid of domestic clearance, 3. Get rid of domestic clearance.

Assuming Tere has interpreted the notice correctly, we can't emphasize how huge this is for cruisers, and how much more attractive it makes Mexico. For it means that when coming from California, you only need to check in with the port captain and immigration at your first port of entry. After that, you only need to check out when you are leaving the country. Presumably, however, you'd have to keep your tourist card current.

In a typical Mexico cruise of the past, you'd have to check in and out of Cabo, La Paz, Puerto Escondido, San Carlos, Mazatlan, San Blas, La Cruz, Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Barra de Navidad, and on and on. And things were never the same, for in some places you had to pay a ship's agent exorbitant fees - $35 one day and $40 the next day - to check in and out of a single port. That was on top of the real fees, which were about $20 extra for both in and out. In addition, the varying hours of port captains, banks, immigration, and aduana - all of whom had to be visited - meant it could often take more than a day, and could not be done on weekends.

The net affect, assuming Tere has read the notice correctly, is that a cruise in Mexico will cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars less each season, but more importantly, countless hours won't be wasted standing around filling out forms that were just tossed in a corner anyway. Lastly, it means that cruisers can move about whenever they want, not just when port captain and immigration office hours allowed it.

In our opinion, the clearing process has always been the one and only major knock on cruising Mexico, which is a great place to cruise.

Great God Almighty, we cruisers have been released! Viva Mexico!

Top / Index of Stories /
Previous 'Lectronic Edition
Subscriptions / Classifieds / Home

©2005 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.